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New Bike Skills Course Coming to the Highlands

Carved out of a premier mountain bike forest, Issaquah Highlands is the ideal location for a bike skills course. Grand Ridge was a mountain bike mecca long before Issaquah Highlands was built. In deference to those who came before, the Issaquah Highlands master developer, Port Blakely Communities, donated funds to contribute to the construction of an introductory skills bike park at Central Park.

The City of Issaquah is partnering with the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance to help make this long-awaited amenity a reality in 2019. Evergreen is well known for its expertise and advocacy for mountain biking. They designed and built Duthie Hill Mountain Bike Park. As the local experts, they are the natural partner for this introductory skill-building bike park at Central Park.

Central Park’s master site plan identifies the location for a bike skills course near the soccer fields of Pad 3, under the BPA power lines. The paved Central Park – Falls Drive trail sits to the south; access to Grand Ridge Park is to the southeast.

Representatives from the City of Issaquah Parks Department held an Open House at Blakely Hall on August 28, 2018 to share the concepts Evergreen drafted, and to gather community input.

There are three designs proposed (see images below, click to view larger), variations on arranging Dirt Jump Lines, Dirt Pump Tracks and a Beginner Challenger Trail through the adjacent woods. Attendees were invited to share their input on the proposed concepts using sticky notes.

“I’ve looked at the City’s concepts & like option #3 the best personally, giving a little more separation between the pump track and jump lines,” said Marc Steingrebe, Sorrento resident and founder of the Issaquah Highlands Mountain Bike Club (currently on hiatus). Marc could not attend the community meeting but provided his comments to Highlands Council via email.

“I like the proposal…that will allow kids to progress & learn here. The jumps, skinnies, some small drops, berms, pump track, can be helpful. My only other suggestion is to have some type of a barrier (fence) and signs that would discourage people from walking dogs through here & leaving presents,” he said.

“The Evergreen team is experienced and know how to build a park,” said Tony Cowan, Central Park resident, who attended the community meeting. “It all looked good to me.”

If you were unable to attend the meeting, you can still provide your input! See options for the park design and provide your feedback through this survey. Get your input in before the survey closes on September 14.